VATICAN CITY, FEB. 16, 2003 ( Archbishop Angelo Comastri, of the Shrine of Loreto, will preach this year's Lenten spiritual exercises to the Roman Curia, which the Pope will attend.

Chosen by John Paul II to lead the retreat, Archbishop Comastri will center his meditation on the theme "God Is Love: Let Us Begin Again with This Beautiful News."

The Holy Father's spiritual retreat will begin on Sunday, March 9, and will end the following Saturday. During these days, he will suspend his ordinary audiences.

The Shrine of Loreto is near the Italian Adriatic coast, next to Ancona. According to tradition, it enshrines the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary, transported from Nazareth in 1294.


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